What are raw materials for LED flashlights

LED lamps - their production is so environmentally friendly

In terms of environmental friendliness and energy efficiency, LED lamps are vastly superior to other light sources. But how environmentally friendly are LED lamps really? If you want to find out, you not only have to consider the service life and energy consumption, but also the entire life cycle from procurement of raw materials to disposal. This is exactly what this article does.

How environmentally friendly are LED lamps? The decisive factor is that Overall life cycle assessment. In addition to the behavior during use, the factors material, manufacture, transport and disposal also flow into it. So let's start at the beginning and look at what LEDs are made of.

Material / raw material procurement
LED are electronic components with tiny chips Semiconductor crystals. In principle, their structure corresponds to that of pn semiconductor diodes, whereby semiconductor materials and doping - depending on the desired light properties - can vary.

For the production of LED are next aluminum also Rare earth needed. These include B. the metals yttrium or europium. Rare earth metals are not only rare, they also pollute the environment due to their degradation, which leaves toxic sludge behind. In addition to LEDs, rare earth metals are also found in energy-saving lamps, LCD and plasma screens. Around seven percent of the subsidy is allocated to the production of lamps.

According to a US study from 2012, an average of a quarter as much energy as a conventional incandescent lamp consumed. 90 percent of the energy required for a life cycle of all light sources was consumed simply by using them. Followed by manufacturing and transportation. According to estimates, the energy consumption for the packaging of LEDs ranges from 0.1 to 27 percent of the total energy consumption.

A study by OSRAM on the overall life cycle assessment of LED lamps, which included all material and energy flows from manufacture to the end of their useful life, showed that 98 percent of total energy consumption is used to generate light and only two percent on production.

With a share of well under one percent in the energy balance, transport is irrelevant.

Since the energy consumption that a lamp needs in operation accounts for the majority of its energy expenditure, LEDs come off particularly well in this regard. You are by far most efficient light sources in terms of lumens per watt and service life.

The only downside: the rather extensive aluminum heat sink.

Since the extraction and processing of raw materials has a significant impact on the environment, affects professional recycling particularly positive for the ecological balance. If you hand in your used LED lamps at collection points, metals such as indium, gallium, germanium and cadmium can be extracted and reused. You also prevent these substances from entering the water cycle or simply being lost through disposal in the household waste.

As of 2015: LED production is becoming more and more efficient in terms of materials

A sticking point in the environmental balance of LEDs has so far been the large aluminum heat sink and the amount of metals required. But now there is a solution for this.

With help of a new plug-in method in LED production as well as a different structure of the light emitting diodes can be used annually in production Save 260 tons of aluminum, 20 tons of tin, 40 tons of copper and 10 tons of plastics and adhesives. This not only simplifies recycling later, but also makes the new type of LED up to 60% lighter. The heat sink has also been revised and instead of a solid cast aluminum body consists of a deep-drawn (formed) aluminum sheet, which saves half the material. In addition, the aluminum used is recycled material, which also improves the energy and raw material balance.

In this film you can take a look at efficient LED lamp production.

The lamps are also manufactured exclusively in Germany, which means that there are no high transport costs and CO2 emissions caused by long distances.